Friday, January 14, 2011

Baklava, Juicy and Fabulous

Baklava with Turkish coffee, OMG! What a treat! I just looove it!

I have to admit that it took me time and courage to make it, but it is so simple. You need only few ingredients: phyllo dough, walnuts, vegetable oil, lemon, sugar and water. That's it! I have baklava version that is juicier than usual and not heavy at all.

Just to let you know there many kinds of baklava...some are with butter, or with sheep lard (I tried one in Istanbul), other are with eggs, sour cream, raisins, etc. Baklava is originally from Turkey, some would say from Persia, and it is very popular in the Middle East and the Balkans.

You need:
  • 1 package of phyllo (fillo) dough (you can find it in the freezer section in Whole Foods and some other stores; keep in mind that phyllo dough must be out of fridge for couple of hours before use, otherwise it will be sticky and difficult to handle)
  • 1 lb chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 cups water
  1. Preheat oven to 350F (175C). Find appropriate baking pan. If it is small one you can cut phyllo sheets and have baklava with more layers. Mine has dimensions 14x10 inch.
  2. Slightly oil the pan using pastry brush or oil spray.
  3. Unroll phyllo sheets. While you work cover phyllo with wet cloth to keep it from drying out. After you set  3 layers of phyllo dough sheets in the pan, oil and cover it with 1-2 tbs. of chopped walnuts. And repeat it until all sheets are used (the last one should be only oiled).
  4. Cut baklava into small squares or diamond shapes using very sharp knife.
  5. Put it in the oven and bake for 50 min.
  6. Cook syrup in the meantime. Heat 2 cups of water, add 2 cups of sugar and juice of 2 lemons. Add a teaspoon of vanilla extract if you want. It's done in 20 min. 
  7. When baklava is done (the top should look crispy and brown) immediately pour hot syrup over it . 
  8. After some rest serve it... with a cup of coffee, of course!

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